The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the April 2 judgement of the FCT High Court, Bwari, which declared Senator Ademola Adeleke ineligible to contest the September 2018 Osun State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on account of not having a valid secondary school leaving certificate.
A three-man panel of the court, held in a unanimous judgment on Thursday, that the FCT High Court was wrong to have concluded that Adeleke did not complete Secondary School and that he made false representation as regards his educational qualification.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, in the lead judgment, faulted the trial court for assuming jurisdiction over the case filed by Wahab Raheem and Adam Habeeb outside the 14 days prescribed for pre-election cases by the Constitution.
According to Justice Agim, the case was statute barred, the plaintiffs, having not complied with Section 285 of the Constitution in the filing of the case and the trial judge, having failed to deliver its judgment within 80 days.
He awarded cost of N3million in favour of Adeleke, to be paid by Raheem and Habeeb, who were plaintiffs at the trial court.
Justice Othman Musa had ruled that the WAEC result Adeleke submitted to INEC was fake.
WAEC had confirmed that Adeleke sat for its examination in 1981, Justice Musa said while the court’s findings showed that Adeleke entered secondary school in 1976, there was no record to show that he actually graduated as his name was no longer seen in the school’s register from 1980.
In reaction to the verdict, Nathaniel Oke, counsel to Adeleke, said it was unfair that the judge ignored the evidence tendered by WAEC. Adeleke then took the matter to the Court of Appeal which reserved judgement on the matter on May 15.